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[10.06.2008] KKE celebrates 90th birthday with in Toronto & Montreal

by People's Voice

PV Ontario Bureau

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) is celebrating its 90th anniversary this month, with a visit to Canada by KKE Political Bureau member Spyros Chalvatzis, who is also Parliamentary House Leader since Greek electors doubled the Party's representation in Parliament in this spring's elections.

Speaking at a May 10 dinner in Toronto organized by the Friends of the KKE, Greek Canadian Democratic Organization, Veterans of the Greek Resistance, and Belogiannis Club of the Communist Party of Canada, Chalvatzis spoke about the struggle against fascism and reaction led by the KKE during and after World War II, and against the Greek generals' junta, 1967 74. Thousands of Communists, youth and patriots gave their lives in these prolonged and epic struggles for democracy.

Today, Chalvatzis said, the KKE continues to struggle for democracy and sovereignty, for peace and socialism, in a world where US imperialism seeks to eliminate all traces of the communist parties, and to overturn socialist Cuba "which has inspired a huge anti imperialist movement across the Latin American continent, despite the embargo."

Imperialism, he said, has no solutions to the problems facing the world's peoples; that is why they are scared of socialism and socialist ideas - "the spectre that is haunting all continents" today.

"This shows that imperialism, and especially US imperialism, is not unbeatable. They are really afraid of the theory and the action of the Marxist-Leninist parties", Chalvatzis said. He noted the strengthened electoral positions of the Communist parties which have remained theoretically consistent, and the historic losses in France, Italy, Spain and elsewhere "for the parties that have abandoned and slandered those principles, that implemented policies to manage capitalism, actually benefitting big capital (leading) to catastrophic results for workers, the anti war and the popular movements generally."

Anti communism has been developed into a basic element of the ideological fight, to which the social democrats, the opportunists, and the so called "transformed" communists have all contributed, he said, noting this goes hand in hand with their support for reactionary government policies. This is also the case with the European party of the Left in the European Parliament, which is increasingly divorced from the European working class.

Regarding Greece, both PASOK and Synaspismos (the party of the "transformed" communists), support the governing New Democracy party on the main issues, Chalvatzis said. This includes strengthening the country's ties to the imperialist powers, their interests and organizations in the region, including gas and oil pipelines, and continuing imperialist interventions in the Balkans "that come as a continuation of the barbarous NATO, US and EU attacks against Yugoslavia."

"The independence of Kosovo - that is, the creation of one more protectorate - is a US, NATO and EU criminal `project' against the peoples of the region," he warned.

Stressing that the situation has been "shaped", the KKE has called on the government not to recognize the new government in Kosovo. "We stress that the borders are set with blood and that the coming developments will affect our country. This example will be used as a case model, with future consequences yet to be faced."

The government has rejected this call, responding that the KKE should be "realistic."

"But there are two kinds of realism", Chalvatzis rejoined, "the realism of suppression, and the realism of struggle and confrontation."

The KKE will continue to fight for a political solution in the Balkans, free of US and imperialist interference, and developed by the states and peoples in the region.

The Communist Party of Greece calls for the creation of a broad-based democratic, anti imperialist, anti monopoly coalition at the national and international level, that can move the struggle from a defensive to an offensive struggle for peace, democracy and fundamental economic and social change, opening the door to socialism.

Chalvatzis said the KKE relies on the working class, the youth and the popular people's movements. The party strengthens itself by fighting on every issue of concern to working people, defending their interests, and building the labour and democratic movements. This increases their capacity as components of the anti monopoly, anti imperialist front, fighting for working class power, for a socialist alternative to capitalist exploitation, repression and war.

He pointed to the failure of the Annan Plan for Cyprus (and AKEL's victory in the recent election), the defeat of the reactionary European Constitution, the setbacks for the US and Israel in Lebanon, the quagmire in Afghanistan and Iraq, the regeneration of class struggle trade union organization and growing influence of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), and the rebirth this spring of the World Peace Congress as encouraging signs of the strengthening of the anti imperialist, anti monopoly struggle globally. Combined with the advances in Latin America, these are very important developments, he said.

"The KKE is committed to reassembling, empowering, coordination and to common action of all the communist and workers' parties," he said, and the KKE will continue to play a central role in hosting annual international meetings and facilitating common action at the regional and international level. At the same time, the KKE would like to see the communist parties shape an ideological pole internationally to effectively combat imperialism on the theoretical front.

Communist Party of Canada leader Miguel Figueroa congratulated the KKE on nine decades of principled and militant leadership of the struggle of the Greek working class and people for democracy, peace, social progress and socialism. Noting the close fraternal relationship that has existed for many years between the KKE and the CPC, based on Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, Figueroa saluted the contribution of Greek-Canadian Communists to the Belogiannis and other clubs of the CPC in English-speaking Canada and Quebec, and to the labour, progressive and democratic movements in Canada.

Speaking about the vicious neo liberal, pro war agenda of the Harper government, Figueroa called on those present to help defeat the Tories in the coming election. He urged the defeat of their amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Act, currently before Parliament, which will slash immigration and replace it with huge pools of temporary foreign workers forced to work without any significant rights or protections, and for the lowest wages in the worst conditions. Labelling C-50 a piece of the global capitalist agenda, Figueroa called for united action to defeat this agenda.

Spyros Chalvatzis spent about a week in Quebec and Ontario before returning to Greece.

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